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Blueprint for Sustainable Change in Diversity Management and Cultural Competence: Lessons From the National Center for Healthcare Leadership Diversity Demonstration Project

Dreachslin, Janice L. PhD; Weech-Maldonado, Robert PhD; Gail, Judith; Epané, Josué Patien PhD; Wainio, Joyce Anne

Journal of Healthcare Management: May/June 2017 - Volume 62 - Issue 3 - p 171–183
doi: 10.1097/JHM-D-15-00029

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY How can healthcare leaders build a sustainable infrastructure to leverage workforce diversity and deliver culturally and linguistically appropriate care to patients? To answer that question, two health systems participated in the National Center for Healthcare Leadership’s diversity leadership demonstration project, November 2008 to December 2013. Each system provided one intervention hospital and one control hospital.

The control hospital in each system participated in pre- and postassessments but received no preassessment feedback and no intervention support. Each intervention hospital’s C-suite leadership and demonstration project manager worked with a diversity coach provided by the National Center for Healthcare Leadership to design and implement an action plan to improve diversity and cultural competence practices and build a sustainable infrastructure. Plans explored areas of strength and areas for improvement that were identified through preintervention assessments. The assessments focused on five competencies of strategic diversity management and culturally and linguistically appropriate care: diversity leadership, strategic human resource management, organizational climate, diversity climate, and patient cultural competence.

This article describes each intervention hospital’s success in action plan implementation and reports results of postintervention interviews with leadership to provide a blueprint for sustainable change.

Janice L. Dreachslin, PhD, professor emerita, Health Policy and Administration, Pennsylvania State University Great Valley School of Graduate Professional Studies, Malvern, Pennsylvania; Robert Weech-Maldonado, PhD, professor and L. R. Jordan endowed chair, Department of Health Services Administration, University of Alabama at Birmingham; Judith Gail, owner and principal, Gail Consulting LLC, Washington, DC; Josué Patien Epané, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Health Care Administration and Policy, School of Community Health Sciences, University of Nevada Las Vegas; and Joyce Anne Wainio, vice president, National Center for Healthcare Leadership, Chicago, Illinois

For more information about the concepts in this article, contact Dr. Dreachslin at

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

© 2017 Foundation of the American College of Healthcare Executives
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